(a) cease to function because of a mechanical, electrical, etc fault （因机械、电力等故障）停止运转, 失灵, 失效
*The telephone system has broken down. 电话系统失灵了.
* We (ie Our car) broke down on the motorway. 我们（的汽车）在高速公路上抛锚了.
(b) fail; collapse 失败; 崩溃; 瓦解; 垮
*Negotiations between the two sides have broken down. 双方谈判已经破裂.
* If law and order break down, anarchy will result. 法治一垮, 就会出现无政府状态.
(c) (of sb's health) become very bad; collapse （指某人健康状况）变得恶劣; 垮
*Her health broke down under the pressure of work. 工作的压力把她的身体弄垮了.
(d) lose control of one's feelings 感情失去控制
*He broke down and wept when he heard the news. 他听到这个消息时不禁痛哭起来. break (sth) down (esp of money spent) be divided or divide into parts by analysis （尤指金钱花费）分成几部分, 细分
*Expenditure on the project breaks down as follows
*wages 10m, plant 4m, raw materials 5m. 该工程费用开支可分成如下几部分
*工资一千万英镑, 厂房设备四百万英镑, 原料五百万英镑. break sth down
(a) make sth collapse by striking it hard 猛击某物使之毁坏
*Firemen had to break the door down to reach the people trapped inside. 消防人员须破门而入, 才能抢救困在屋里的人.
(b) cause sth to collapse; overcome, conquer or destroy sth 使某事物瓦解; 镇压、克服、破坏某事物
*break down resistance, opposition, etc 镇压抵抗、反抗等
* break down sb's reserve, shyness, etc 克服某人的沉默、羞怯等心态
* How can we break down the barriers of fear and hostility which divide the two communities? 怎样才能消除这两地区人民之间的恐惧和仇恨呢?
(c) change the chemical composition of sth 改变某物的化学成分
*Sugar and starch are broken down in the stomach. 糖和淀粉在胃里被分解.
1. Brittle things break easily. 脆的东西容易破碎。
2. The sorry-looking, blackened figure that emerged, admitted that he had tried to break into a shop during the night. 那个满脸愁容、浑身漆黑的家伙立刻承认，他企图在夜里闯进商店．
3. The police were called in to break up the fracas. 警察奉命去制止骚乱.
4. They prophesy that war will break out between the two countries. 他们预言这两个国家之间将发生战争。
5. The sorry-looking, blackened figure that emerged, admitted at once that he had tried to break into the shop during the night but had got stuck in the chimney. 那个看来满脸沮丧、浑身漆黑的家伙从烟囱里一出来，就承认头天夜里他企图到店里行窍，但让烟囱卡住了。
6. Then Columbus took the egg and struck its small end gently upon the table so as to break the shell a little. 于是哥伦布拿起那只蛋，把尖的一头轻轻往桌上一磕，敲碎一点蛋壳，
7. This society, he explained, would consist of trained volunteers who would always be ready to travel to the scene of any war that might break out. 他解释说这一团体应由受过集训并随时准备开赴任何战场去的志愿人员组成。
8. The old girl deserved a break, we thought. 我们心想，老大姐也该转转运气了。
9. The third day — it was Wednesday of the first week — Charles banged a see-saw (翘翘板) on to the head of a little girl and made her bleed, and the teacher made him stay inside all during morning break. 第三天 -- 这是第一周的星期三 -- 查尔斯玩翘翘板时砸到了一个小女孩的头，她的头流了血，因此老师命令他在早晨休息的时候一直呆在教室里面。
10. No one wants to break the stillness. 没有人想打破这沉默。